Aside from the convoluted political talk, it fights and defeats Roger Ailes.
Jay Roach’s “Bombshell” reimagines the sexual harassment allegations aimed against Roger Ailes, the CEO of Fox News, by making its female characters courageous and persistent. The women he harassed include journalists Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, and they’re willing to risk everything to expose that SOB.
I don’t know some of the real-life characters here, as some were dramatized as the opening credits explain, and I didn’t understand everything going on in the political world. I try to avoid less news, that’s why. But Roach becomes fearless by showing us how these women fight Ailes with no violence or arguments, but words and dignity. Even if this is a true story, you still root for these people along the way.
Charlize Theron (looking nearly unrecognizable with facial prosthetics) plays Kelly, who starts off being in hot water, because of her responses towards Donald Trump about his anti-feminism. He blasts her with Tweets, but she feels no remorse.
Nicole Kidman plays Carlson, who has been accused by many to be a man-hater, and that’s why she’s either been demoted and fired from journalism and TV positions. She can’t sue Fox News, but she can bring down Roger Ailes (John Lithgow, looking fatter with prosthetics) himself for his harassment.
More women come forward, and we also meet a fictionalized Fox newbie named Kayla (Margot Robbie), who quits Carlson’s show to work for Bill O’Reilly, where she develops a friendship with a closeted lesbian and democrat (Kate McKinnon), and gets uncomfortable with Ailes. When he meets her, he asks her to lift up her dress, up to her underwear. That’s how uncomfortable she is.
“Bombshell” gets convoluted with all the political talk, but it reminds people about Ailes’ sexism, and how he got defeated. The news and media gets corrupted, and people are willing to expose the truth, and we’re rooting for these women to remove Ailes from Fox News. Yes, we know it’s a true story, and we also know there are fictionalized characters, but we still admire how Jay Roach handles the story.
The performances that really stick out come from Theron with her accent, appearance, and charms; Kidman with her poise and grace; Robbie in another fine small role this year (after “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”), Lithgow playing Ailes with fire, hatred, and vulnerability; and McKinnon finally portraying a human and not an SNL alien. And we also get a variety of stars like Connie Britton as Ailes’ wife, Allison Janney as lawyer Susan Estrich, Mark Duplass as Kelly’s husband Douglas Blunt, and Malcolm McDowell as media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
I commend the film for its integrity and levity, and representing the scandal on a low key scale. This will entertain political fans, whether they’re democrats or conservatives. Give it a go.